50+ Things to Do for Spring Break in the Fox Cities (and beyond)

Kohler-Andrae State Park Sheboygan Wisconsin

Spring Break for Fox Valley students is just around

the corner, and we’re ready for a little shake-up in our routine and perhaps a little adventuring! We have so many ideas to share with you if you want to stick close to home, stay on a budget, or venture away from home!

National Railroad Museum, Green Bay

Always Learning: Nearby Museums to Explore

Whether you are looking for a children’s museum in Wisconsin, or science, art, or history museums, we have so many great options across the state. Some of our favorites include Discovery World and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Paine Art Center and Gardens, Oshkosh
Paine Art Center and Gardens, Oshkosh

Worth the Drive Children’s Museums

Glow in the Park Mini Golf Oshkosh
Glow in the Park Indoor Mini Golf, Oshkosh

Burn off Energy – Run Around, Jump, Climb & Play

Clarion Inn Pool Appleton
Clarion Inn Pool, Appleton

Go Swimming

We have so many great indoor pool options in the Fox Cities, both at hotels and park and rec options. There are water slides, splash pads, lap swimming, diving, hot tubs and whirlpools, saunas, and more!

Need a winter escape? Head to the waterpark capital of the world, Wisconsin Dells for a fun weekend retreat!

Urban Air Adventure Park Appleton
Flip Zone Bumper Cars at Urban Air, Appleton

Go Bowling 

Bowling is a fun indoor activity to forget about how cold it is outside! Both Super Bowl in Appleton and Sabre Lanes in Menasha are now owned by Bowlero and offer special loyalty programs, events, and promotions, and lots of lanes for bowling. 

The 10th Frame in Appleton is locally owned and operated and has good old-fashioned bowling, including keeping score by hand!

Electric City Lanes in Kaukauna has a cozy, intimate bowling experience with fluorescent lights and a fireplace. The full-service restaurant has a casual dining menu and a wide selection of beer, wine, and spirits.

Rolling Thunder Lanes has open bowling and an arcade (and wings!)

Bowling in Northeast Wisconsin

Play at a New Park Each Day!

Head out to one of these Perfect for Spring Parks in and around Appleton.

There are some fantastic Oshkosh Parks with the Rubber Ground also!

BONUS! Spring park adventurer pro tip: Bathrooms are open at Fritsch and Fritse Parks in Fox Crossings/Menasha.

playground and slides at Appleton Memorial Park
Perfect for spring! Memorial Park in Appleton

Put That State Parks Pass to Use!

natural playground at Ledge View Nature Center Chilton
Red Bird Trail at High Cliff State Park, Sherwood

Hit a Trail 

There is no shortage of great places to take a walk, hike, or bike ride in the Fox Valley and nearby.

Kids hiking at Fritse Park and Trestle Trail in Neenah
Friendship Trail, Menasha

Learn and Play at a Nature Center

There are 12 Nature Centers for Families About an Hour From Appleton and you can plan a day trip with our ideas for nearby things to do and spots to get coffee and ice cream! Here are some of our favorites:

kids playing on the heckrodt natural playground menasha
Heckrodt Wetland Reserve, Menasha

Plan a Day Out for Animal Lovers

  • MToxins, Oshkosh – Over 50 rare reptiles and amphibians from around the world! 
  • Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Green Bay – FREE! A walk through the woods with animals native to Wisconsin to visit along the way, including wolves, coyotes, deer, and ducks that love to be fed.
  • NEW Zoo, Suamico – It is fun to explore here in spring weather when animals are active!
  • Shalom Wildlife Zoo, West Bend – Open on Saturdays and Sundays through April 14, 2023, you can opt for a fun drive-through experience.
  • Milwaukee Zoo, Milwaukee – Visit the winter-loving animals and stroll through warm indoor exhibits! 
  • Pawffee Shop Cat Cafe, Appleton – Enjoy a cup of coffee and cat snuggles! 
  • Short on time? Try a pet store! PetSmart, Just Pets, and Petco are all fun options in Appleton. 
Milwaukee Zoo
Milwaukee Zoo

Hungry? Eats and Treats

Sweet Lair Menasha
Sweet Lair, Menasha

Venture a Little Farther from Home: Day Trips 

There are so many unique places to explore just an hour or two from Appleton (we thought of 15!). We love to explore and find fun things for your family to do when you’re looking to take a little day trip; here are some of our favorites!


Just a short drive away, Oshkosh has so many places to explore. There are fun murals, we love to visit the Paine Art Center and Gardens, and there are great playgrounds with rubber surfaces to burn energy and play. Find ideas for year-round adventures in Oshkosh and much more on our sister site, Go Oshkosh Kids

New London

Close to the Fox Valley and full of art and natural areas to explore, New London is a great close-to-home destination for families. Visit Mosquito Hill, take a walk along the river, go on a mural hunt, and grab an ice cream cone before your short drive home. This is a great place to spend a winter day, also!

Waupaca / Little Hope

Little Hope is your spot if you’re looking for an idyllic day of creek stomping, ice cream cones, and picture-perfect picnic backdrops. There are lots of things to do nearby, including Hartman Creek State Park, mini-golfing at Tom Thumb, waterfront dining at Clearwater Harbor Waterfront Restaurant & Bar, nearby Animal Haven Farm Zoo in Weyauwega. Read more details about a visit to the Waupaca area.


Another city not far from Appleton with massive day trip potential. There are incredible playgrounds, an adventure park with 18 holes of mini-golf, museums, botanical gardens, and more. You can easily plan a day and head home with just a short drive or a planned weekend in Wausau with kids! Here are our suggestions for a super fun family day!

Stevens Point

About an hour from Appleton, this often-overlooked destination awaits with murals, a fantastic sculpture park, miles of trails, a universal playground, and the best ice cream! Read more of our suggestions for a fun day with kids in Stevens Point.

Port Washington

Slow down for a day in Port Washington, exploring a historic lighthouse and fantastic playground. Top it off with a trip to the chocolate shop, and you’ve got a peaceful and delicious day drip. Read more about exploring Port Washington with your family. 


Visit a lighthouse, playground, zoo, murals, Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center, shipwreck, or the beach. There’s something for everyone on a trip to Manitowoc, including a trip to Cedar Crest’s ice cream parlor! Here are some ideas for how to spend your day. 


There’s so much to do in Milwaukee, you could easily extend this into a multiple-day stay, but it isn’t so far that you cannot explore for just a day. We’ve shared some of our favorite Family-Friendly Things to Do in Milwaukee.  


We’ve created a guide to Visiting the Capital City with Children featuring places to explore, eat, and play. 

Madison State Capital
State Capitol Building, Madison

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